Arts of Citizenship is delighted to announce a Request for Proposals for our 2013 Graduate Student Grants in Public Scholarship. The Graduate Student Grants in Public Scholarship program provides an opportunity for Rackham graduate students in the arts, design, and humanities to carry out creative and scholarly projects with civic and cultural organizations that address real-world challenges and enhance students’ professional development. Those interested in collaborating with community partners to co-create work with mutually-beneficial outcomes are encouraged to apply.
Past grant recipient projects encompass a range of areas, including public art, community-based theater, youth advocacy, exhibition development, site-specific work, public history, participatory design, digital humanities, ethnic studies, film/multimedia, and related fields.
Program Description and Goals
Arts of Citizenship Graduate Student Grants in Public Scholarship support mutually beneficial partnerships between U-M graduate students in the arts, design, and humanities and a broad spectrum of cultural and arts institutions, community groups, government agencies, and schools. Such projects result in a wide variety of publicly-engaged, collaborative work that advances new scholarship, enriches civic life, and addresses real-world challenges.
The goals of the grants program are to support these collaborations by:
- Providing resources, networking, and training opportunities to increase the depth and impact of graduate student and faculty engagement in public scholarship
- Promoting the creation and dissemination of public goods and scholarly knowledge, and
- Providing professional development opportunities for graduate students interested in publicly-engaged careers
Who Should Apply
Rackham graduate students are eligible to receive grants of up to $8,000 that support the development and implementation of publicly-engaged projects that are designed collaboratively by academic and non-academic partners. Grants may be awarded to individual graduate students at U-M working collaboratively with a community partner or to those working as part of an interdisciplinary team comprised of more than one student.
Role of Faculty Members
Arts of Citizenship encourages U-M graduate students to work with faculty members on the conception, development, and implementation of mutually beneficial, publicly-engaged projects that advance new scholarship, enrich civic life, and provide meaningful professional development. Faculty members are not required, however, to participate in the project.
How to Apply
U-M graduate students should identify one or more community partner and collaboratively develop an idea for a mutually beneficial project. By the specified deadline, students should submit a 2-3 page letter of intent describing the proposed project, including the research or creative work that will be produced. The letter is due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7, 2013, followed by a proposal workshop for selected individuals on Friday, February 1, 2013.
Letters of intent should address the following questions:
- What is the scholarly question that motivates the project?
- In what ways will the project advance the creative or scholarly work of graduate student participant(s)?
- In what ways will the project contribute substantially to the agenda of community partner(s)?
- How specifically will you assess the impact of the project in terms of both its scholarly and public goals?
Collaborative teams consisting of one or more U-M graduate student and community partner will be awarded grants of up to $8,000 to develop and implement mutually beneficial, publicly-engaged projects. Funds are available to support scholarly, creative, and/or cultural work that advances new research, enriches civic life, and provides meaningful professional development for U-M graduate students. Grants may be used for such items as research material, travel, stipends, documentation, and costs associated with scholarly publication or the production of tangible public goods (ie performances, programming, exhibitions, etc). Additionally, funds may support the development and implementation of engaged teaching pedagogies.
Successful proposals will do the following:
- Identify a committed community partner—for example, a school, museum, arts, civic, or advocacy organization, cultural institution, government agency, or neighborhood group—and include a partnership agreement that describes the expected contributions of each member of the collaborative team, as well as the division of roles and responsibilities within the team.
- Demonstrate how the project will provide substantial benefit to the community partner and advance the creative or scholarly agenda of the participating graduate student(s).
- Include specific and feasible plans for the creation of scholarly publications, creative projects, and/or tangible public goods. Project outcomes may include online scholarship (such as websites, digital and photographic archives, films, webinars, podcasts), live performances, curriculum and workshop modules, policy analyses and briefs, white papers, assessment tools, presentations, articles, exhibitions, and catalogs.
- Include a concise budget and narrative describing how the grant money will be used. Stipend requests must include details concerning the level of student effort.
Because publicly-engaged projects present particular challenges, we are committed to working with you to develop a competitive proposal. In pursuit of this commitment, graduate students who submit successful letters of intent will be required to attend a half-day workshop on February 1, 2013. Community partners are also encouraged to attend this event. The workshop will provide further information about the review process, grant expectations, and opportunities to discuss proposed projects within a supportive community of public scholars and community practitioners.
- Receive grant award for a single-year project with the option to apply for a second year of funding
- Experience first-hand the rewards of engaging in publicly-engaged work
- Develop new skills and competencies through participation in publicly-engaged work
- Build new relationships and awareness of how various skills can be applied in a range of professional settings
- Receive ongoing assistance with program design and implementation from Arts of Citizenship staff
- Create new knowledge or creative work that serves a public good through university-community collaboration
- Learn from and participate in a supportive network of publicly-engaged scholars
Graduate Student Commitments
- Work with one or more community partner to complete a publicly-engaged project
- Engage in ongoing communication with the intent to solve any problems that arise over the course of the grant
- Present project results at a public event (ie Friday Forum or Annual Project Showcase)
- Share insights and lessons learned with the broader Arts of Citizenship community at the Grants Workshop and Public Humanities Institute, as well as through technology (ie videos)
- Contribute to the Arts of Citizenship blog at least twice during the grant cycle
- Attend a kick-off meeting at the beginning of the grant cycle
We believe that peer review from both academics and community practitioners is essential to establishing publicly-engaged work as a legitimate form of academic inquiry, knowledge production, and social practice. We encourage graduate student grantees to participate in a peer review process.
2013 Timeline and Review
|December 7, 5:00 pm, Eastern time||Letter of intent deadline|
|February 1||Proposal Workshop|
|March 1, 5:00 pm, Eastern time||Full proposal deadline|
|April 12||Grants Announced|
- Grantees will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Significance, relevance, timeliness, innovation, and feasibility of proposed scholarly and creative work
- Social impact, contribution to civic life and extent to which the project addresses a community-identified need
- Depth of collaboration with partners
- Demonstrated commitment to publicly-engaged work
- Expressed interest in being actively involved in the Arts of Citizenship network
As interest in publicly-engaged work grows, the number of graduate student applicants has increased, making this a more competitive process. We are eager to learn about your project ideas and help you hone your proposed projects. Please contact Elizabeth Werbe, Associate Director, Arts of Citizenship, with any questions or if you would like to schedule a meeting.